Gara Bill Stops Bogus Bank Foreclosures

(JUNEAU) – Today Rep. Les Gara filed legislation to stop one of the most abusive bank practices since the 2007 recession. “Banks have been taking homes from people who are current on their payments. It’s a national dilemma. It’s time to stop this abuse,” said Gara.

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Rep. Gara: Parnell Pumps Money Into All Agencies – Except Education

Proposed budget flat funds education, covers inflation increases for all other agencies

This year Governor Sean Parnell proposes to fund K-12 students at the same level as they were funded two years ago, yet his budget includes increases for every other state agency other than education.

“Freezing school funding to 2010 levels, without recognizing costs have gone up with inflation, translates into a major education cut. The proof’s in the pudding. It is causing schools across the state to plan for layoffs and the end of courses and summer school. The bottom line is that the Governor has granted state employees and bureaucrats inflation increases – just not kids,” said Rep. Les Gara.

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Democrats Push for Hearing on Oil Tax Credit Accountability

“Alaskans need to know what we got for our four billion dollar North Slope investment”

JUNEAU – Today, House Democratic Whip Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) called for a hearing on two bills designed to provide Alaskans more information on the State’s North Slope investments. The bills will help Alaskans know if our massive investments are meeting our twin goals of more oil in the pipeline and more jobs for Alaskans. Recent testimony puts the state’s investment at over $4 billion over the last five years.

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Rep. Gara to State: Permit Cannot Ignore Destruction of Salmon Stream

Gara calls on state to scrap flawed ruling that salmon and trout stream can be “rebuilt”

Today, Representative Les Gara called on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to reverse its ruling that concluded the proposed Chuitna coal project is consistent with the state’s “Unsuitable Lands” law.

“Their proposal states they will completely remove at least 11 miles of wild salmon spawning and rearing habitat for a period of 25 years; digging down at least 300 feet below the streambed, thereby destroying not only the streambed but also the underlying functions that support a salmon stream and permanently impacting the water quality for all downstream reaches of the Chuitna,” said Rep. Gara, an avid fisherman and fishing writer.

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Democrats Work to End Unlimited Campaign Spending

Legislation would make Alaska a leader in national effort to rein in big-money politics

(JUNEAU) – Today, 13 House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation aimed at scaling back rules allowing corporations, wealthy donors, and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money, sometimes in the millions, to get candidates elected. Companion resolutions (HJR 33 and SJR 13) introduced today in the Alaska House and Senate call for a federal constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United case that opened the corporate and union campaign spending floodgates. A separate House bill would return Alaska’s right to limit corporate contributions by making corporations not considered “persons” for purposes of Alaska election law.

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Democrats Prioritize Education, Promote Solutions; FOCUS: parent involvement, commitment to districts, lowering cost of college and job training

JUNEAU – The state of Alaska needs to make education more of a priority, House Democrats told reporters at a press conference in the capitol today. House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula (Juneau), Representative Chris Tuck (Anchorage), Representative Pete Petersen (Anchorage) and Representative Les Gara (Anchorage) outlined their proposals to increase parent involvement in early education, to make sure school districts have the resources they need, and to make college and job training more affordable for Alaskans.

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